Pope: 'The Church Is Mission'

Evangelization is needed more than ever.

(photo: Shutterstock)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a world marked by new forms of slavery and injustice, the Church must evangelize constantly and fearlessly, even in the face of persecution, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The Pope, addressing directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies May 14, said Catholic activity at every level needs to be infused with the missionary spirit.

“All the sectors of pastoral life, of catechesis and of charity should be characterized by the missionary dimension: The Church is mission,” he said.

Evangelization, he added, must begin with a firm faith and an enthusiastic desire to share it with others. The Church’s evangelization efforts are aimed at “transforming the world according to God’s plan,” leading men and women to “real freedom” and out of all forms of slavery, he said.

“New problems and new forms of slavery, in fact, are emerging in our time,” the Pope said. “This is true in the so-called First World, which is well-off and rich, but uncertain about its future. And it is true in developing countries where, partly because of a globalization that is often profit-driven, there’s an increase in the masses of poor, of emigrants and of the oppressed, in whom the light of hope
grows weak.”